We hope to change the way people experiencing multiple and complex needs are supported. We believe they should be able to easily access appropriate services when they need to, for as long as they need to. We believe their voices should be heard, and they should inform the support available to them.

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2017 Annual Event

On Friday 20th October 2017, we will be hosting our annual project event at Nottingham Conference Centre (NG1 4BU). Following on from our Opportunity Nottingham – Two Years On Learning Event (see video below), this event will offer those working within the context of multiple and complex needs key insights for the future. Titled Changing the System. Challenging Stigma, we will be considering the MCN landscape within the context of Nottingham City predominantly, but reference will be made to the current national...

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The National Agenda

MEAM (Making Every Adult Matter) is a coalition made up of Clinks, Homeless Link and Mind. They work to ensure that in every local area, people experiencing multiple needs are supported by effective, coordinated services; and empowered to tackle their problems and reach their full potential. Their recently released report MULTIPLE NEEDS Time for political leadership will be taken to all parts of Government over the coming months. MEAM staff will discuss the four key steps outlined in the report, and will also be meeting with policy-makers...

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PDU Workshop - PIE

The Practice Development Unit (PDU) is a partnership between Opportunity Nottingham and NCVS. The main hub will be an online platform (due for launch in early 2018) which will include key papers, research and information. There will also be an on-going programme of events, seminars and training sessions. The PDU will enable those working in the context of multiple and complex needs to share learnings and best practice. If you have any questions about the PDU please email pdu@nottinghamcvs.co.uk. Spaces now available on the...

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Important: Referral Update

From Monday 25th September 2017 we are unable to accept new referrals for a short period of time (approximately four weeks). If you have made a referral before this date, it will be processed as normal. This is due to a high current caseload and an unprecedented demand for our service, which reflects the need for intensive support for those experiencing multiple needs across the country. This period of time will enable us to continue...

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Peer Research

Some of our Expert Citizens (along with other service-users) recently attended an event on Peer Research.  Members of staff from Opportunity Nottingham, Opportunity and Change and Money Sorted delivered the event and explored ideas around the following: What is a peer? What is research? What should we research? The ideas and thoughts of the group were captured and can be seen in the three word cloud documents below. After the event, some of our Expert Citizens showed an interest in training to be a Peer Researcher....

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PIE ALS. Book now!

This ALS in now fully booked. Following two successful Psychologically Informed Environment (PIE) Action Learning Sets (ALS), our third PIE ALS will commence on Wednesday 13th September. Places are limited, and we are now looking for two nominations from organisations who would like to participate.  As this is a group learning activity, participants will need to attend all of the sessions to support group reflection and learning. Why attend?  Help your service or organisation work more creatively and constructively...

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A Visit from Crisis

Crisis is the national charity for homeless people. It has existed for 50 years, and has helped many thousands of people out of homelessness, whilst continuously campaigning for change. A current key piece of work is 'A Plan to End Homelessness.' At the recent Ending Homelessness Conference (hosted by Crisis), Beneficiary Ambassadors Sandra and Deonne arranged for a member of the Crisis Team to visit Opportunity Nottingham to obtain ideas and feedback to inform this plan. Francesca Albanese (Research Manager at Crisis)...

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Public Help

On Monday 17th July 2017 at approximately midday, one of our Beneficiaries fell ill and collapsed on Mansfield Road in Nottingham. Fortunately his Personal Development Coordinator (PDC) was present at the time, and life saving support was immediately carried out. The role of a PDC is extensive. A bespoke wrap-around service is delivered for each Beneficary, and regular (often daily) contact is in place. Everything is considered from food shopping to hospital appointments, and managing bills to accessing detox programmes. Support...

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The 'Small' Things

Our core project aims are system change and enabling those facing multiple and complex needs to live fulfilled lives. When presenting findings and looking for outcomes that could prove fundamental to changes in the way the system works, we often focus on the 'big' things such as significant cost-savings or key trends. But... for our Beneficiaries, a very small change can mean a very significant step forward. Our Personal Development Coordinators will reflect on such changes with each of their Beneficiaries, highlighting and...

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Eid al-Fitr

Some of our Beneficiaries have recently celebrated Eid, an important religious holiday that marks the end of 29 or 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting, as part of the Islamic holy month of fasting. A key part of our project is to provide bespoke support for our Beneficiaries including a focus on wellbeing, values and beliefs. Our Personal Development Coordinators wanted to ensure that Beneficiaries hoping to celebrate Eid were able to do so, despite their current circumstances. It was agreed the best approach was to prepare...

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Wellbeing and Purpose

When a Beneficiary initially joins Opportunity Nottingham, they are facing a high level of risk. Their multiple needs will include at least three of the following four; homelessness, substance misuse, offending and mental ill health. Focus is given to these needs and a plan is put in place to support recovery. However, as they progress on their journey towards recovery, it can be the 'small' things, or practical support that can really make a difference. This type of support is not often found within the current and past system...

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Job Vacancy!

Please note - this job vacancy has now closed. We have recently awarded a contract to Nottingham Community and Voluntary Service (NCVS) for the delivery of the Practice Development Unit (PDU). This unit will be a learning and information resource for those working within the context of multiple and complex needs across Nottingham City. It will inlcude an online platform, and various traning courses and events will also be delivered as part of the PDU. NCVS is now looking for the right person to coordinate the development...

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Crisis Conference

On Thursday 20th April, Beneficiary Ambassadors Sandra Morgan and Deonne Peters attended the Ending Homelessness Conference, hosted by homeless charity, Crisis. The agenda included an overview of the Homelessness Reduction Bill, the potential role of Housing First, and Government plans for ending homelessness. Speakers included The Rt Hon Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, and Dr Sam Tsemberis, Founder of Pathways to Housing. Both Sandra and Deonne described the day as rewarding and inspirational....

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Data Sharing

One of our core project aims is system change. During the lifetime of the project, we hope to drive a shift in the way services supporting people facing multiple needs work. One essential element of system change is the sharing of service-user data. This will enable a more cohesive approach, and ensure that workers across all services can understand the full journey of the service-user, and their care/treatment to date. This information will allow workers to make informed decisions and also mean that service-users do not have to tell...

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Alcohol Panel

The Opportunity Nottingham project is represented at the Nottingham City Alcohol Panel, with Beneficiary Ambassador Lee and at least two Expert Citizens attending on an on-going basis. The Panel meets monthly, and considers the challenges facing people experiencing alcohol misuse in Nottingham City. Our Expert Citizens provide valuable input based on their lived experience, giving views on the way services work and reflecting on where the system 'fell down' for them. A number of initiatives are being explored at present, and Beneficiary...

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Expert Citizen Input (2)

Earlier this year, Beneficiary Ambassador Lee, and one of our Expert Citizens (Paul) attended a follow-up meeting in London as part of the National Expert Citizens Group. They had previously attended an event in Manchester with the theme 'engaging with those that are hardest to engage' and the London follow-up meeting involved responses to this theme. Lee and Paul were part of a group considering ways to reach women Beneficiaries. At the follow up meeting this group performed a short piece of theatre to highlight the issues...

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Facts About Me

When working with a person facing multiple needs, inevitably the focus is on the negative aspects of their life. Questions will be asked of their substance misuse; how much are they drinking, what drugs are they taking? Conversations will take place around offending; do they have any convictions, have they been in prison? An assessment of mental health needs will be carried out; do they need medication, are they in crisis? And finally, discussions will take place regarding housing and trying to find suitable accommodation. But...

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The PIE Approach

Psychological and mental health problems affect most people with multiple and complex needs, and often these are linked to traumatic experiences in their past. There is growing evidence that for agencies supporting people with multiple needs, working in a 'psychologically informed' way will achieve better outcomes. A psychologically informed approach is referred to as PIE (Psychologically Informed Environments). This approach takes account of the psychological make-up; the thinking, personalities...

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Training Invite

Now fully booked - please register your interest for future dates! We are now accepting attendee nominations for our next PIE Action Learning Set; Working Towards a Psychologically Informed Environment (PIE). A Psychologically Informed Environment is one that takes into account the psychological make-up. It considers the thinking, personalities and past experience of participants in the way it operates. It's an approach to supporting people, in particular those who have experienced complex trauma or have...

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Women's Day

International Women's Day (IWD) takes place on Wednesday 8th March. The day focuses on achieving better outcomes for women, and the need to create a more gender inclusive world. The World Economic Forum predicts that the gender gap won't close entirely until 2186, so there is a lot of work to be done! For IWD 2017 the theme is #BeBoldForChange, and we are supporting this campaign through our work with women Beneficiaries. Currently 26% of our Beneficiaries are women. They are all facing at least three of the following...

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Invite to Tender

This contract has now been awarded to Nottingham Community and Voluntary Service (NCVS). We have a tender opportunity for a Practice Development Unit (PDU) Coordinator. The Practice Development Unit  (PDU) will be a cross sector network of agencies who work with people who have multiple needs and who have agreed to work together to develop and disseminate good practice and learning. The role of the provider will be to develop and coordinate this network. The PDU will support the implementation of Opportunity Nottingham's...

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A National Impact

As part of our work on system change, we are invited to participate in consultations at a local and national level. We also pro-actively comment, feedback and respond to open consultations and key work within the area of multiple and complex needs. In 2016, we submitted feedback for NICE Guidelines (NG58): Coexisting severe mental illness and substance misuse: community health and social care services. As a result of our feedback certain sections of the guidelines have been directly impacted, notably: ensuring that people with...

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Expert Citizen Input (1)

In November 2016, our Beneficiary Ambassadors and some of our Expert Citizens attended a National Expert Citizens Group meeting in Manchester. The theme of the day was 'engaging with those that are hardest to engage' and the agenda was highly interactive. The majority of attendees had lived experience of multiple needs, with representatives from all of the Fulfilling Lives Programmes (Supporting People with Multiple Needs) projects across the UK. All attendees were asked to prepare some work prior to the meeting, and they could...

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Christmas Party!

In early December, we held a Christmas Party at the Nottinghamshire Deaf Society for our Beneficiaries. We had a range of festive food on offer, and a variety of fun and free festive activities including; mug painting, card making, cake decorating and of course a Christmas Tombola! Santa even made an appearance (in the form of our Beneficiary Ambassador Sandra), and there were free massages on offer for everyone too. In total 30 of our Beneficiaries attended the party; this is the highest attendance at a...

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University Presentation

On Wednesday 30th November, some of the Opportunity Nottingham Team delivered a presentation/workshop at The University of Birmingham. The audience included a mix of local practitioners, Birmingham University students, and students from their partner university, The University of Melbourne. The half-day session was titled Engagement  - why bother? and considered the involvement of Beneficiaries in service development. Students were given background to the Opportunity Nottingham project including the aims of the project, and provided...

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The role of a PDC

Opportunity Nottingham Personal Development Coordinators (PDCs) provide a very high level of support for Beneficiaries of the project. This support is tailored to each Beneficiary, and involves working with specialist services and partner agencies around the four project criteria.  The working approach of each PDC is Beneficiary led at all times, and building trust and providing consistency in a chaotic lifestyle are essential. Long-term goals are also set with each Beneficiary and our PDCs try to make these as realistic and achievable...

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Female Focus

The current percentage of women Beneficiaries on our project is 24%. Whilst all of our Personal Development Coordinators work with women Beneficiaries, our Domestic  Violence and Abuse Lead (Justine Sadler) has a specific remit within this area. Justine works with other organisations in Nottingham City, participating in projects and providing feedback regarding ways of working with, and supporting women Beneficiaries. She has recently been involved in a pilot project looking at wrap-around support for women with complex needs...

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APPG - Women with Complex Needs

On Wednesday 19th October, Sandra Morgan (ON Beneficiary Ambassador) and Justine Sadler (ON Domestic Violence and Abuse Lead) attended an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Women with Complex Needs and Duel Diagnosis at the House of Lords.  APPGs are informal cross-party groups that have no official status within Parliament. They are run by and for Members of the Commons and Lords.   Turning Point acts...

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Housing First

An essential part of our project delivery is continuous review and evaluation, in order to seek ways to improve and also connect services available to those facing multiple and complex needs. As a result of this, we have identified that an innovative project titled Housing First could have a significant impact for some or all of our Beneficiaries. The Housing First model is purposely designed for those who need significant levels of help to enable them to leave homelessness. Described as probably the single most important innovation...

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Peer Mentors Graduate

We are now working with four Peer Mentors, following their recent graduation from a User Voice Mentor Training Course. Each Mentor has lived experience of at least one of the four Opportunity Nottingham project criteria, and their role involves supporting a Beneficiary currently accessing the Opportunity Nottingham project. This support is in the form of social meet-ups such as going to the cinema or to play snooker, and more functional outings including food shopping. This approach is helping us to provide even more support for...

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PDU

To support our core project aim of system change in order to improve the lives of those experiencing multiple needs in Nottingham City, we have identified the need for a Practice Development Unit (PDU). We have recently completed a scoping exercise with regard to what the PDU should look like. This process was managed by Dr Claire Mann (Research Fellow at The University of Nottingham), and involved input and feedback from a large number of Partners and agencies in Nottingham City. Overall, we have identified the following...

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Women Beneficiaries

We have been invited to participate in a research project with MEAM, Agenda, AVA and St. Mungo's. The project will consider how women with multiple needs are being supported in areas where coordinated interventions have been developed. Certain factors will be considered including: women as a proportion of caseload how the needs of women experiencing multiple needs differ from the needs of men how services are working cross-sector to support women facing multiple needs. A short report will be released in...

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Job Vacancy - AWAAZ

AWAAZ is one of our Partner agencies, and they deliver a culturally and gender specific service as part of the Opportunity Nottingham project. In order to support delivery of this service, they are now recruiting a Multiple Complex Needs Outreach Worker. This is an exciting and challenging post. The post-holder will be required to engage with BME, hard to reach and gender specific communities in Nottingham City against the Opportunity Nottingham project criteria of; offending, homelessness, substance misuse and mental ill health. The...

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Expert Citizens Update

Our Expert Citizens are Beneficiaries who feel ready to input into the development of the project. They work closely with our Beneficiary Ambassadors, meeting with them regularly and participating in a wide range of work from consultations to Opportunity Nottingham Team recruitment and interviewing. In recent months, our Expert Citizens have been engaged in a wide range of work in Nottingham City including; Joining the local alcohol panel, which has an impact on the commissioning of substance misuse services locally (the...

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Our Funding

The Opportunity Nottingham project is funded by the National Lottery Fulfilling Lives programme. Funding is in place for eight years and commenced in 2014. We are one of 12 projects in the UK funded to work in the context of multiple and complex needs as part of this programme. You can find out more here. Over the lifetime of the project, we will be subcontracting services at a spend of over £1.7 million in order to deliver our project aims. All of our contracts are delivered in line with the...

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Mental Health Services

In its Strategy 'Working Together for a Healthier Nottingham', Nottingham City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has identified improving Mental Health Services as one of the six priority areas where transformational change will be delivered. Nottingham City CCG has committed to improving staff skills and knowledge, and access to more services in Primary Care. They will be working in conjunction with all providers in order to develop efficient and effective pathways of care, promote services to those at the greatest...

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Celebrating Diversity!

On Monday 10th October, we are working in partnership with AWAAZ to deliver an event that will celebrate Black History Month and launch Mental Health Awareness Week. Join us at the ICCA (NG5 1QZ) from midday as Pam Abbot (MHAW Chair and Events Link) from Framework, launches the event. There will be a host of activities including; complimentary therapies, Henna art, singing, story-telling and belly dancing.  Black History Month will be celebrated with a Black History World War Two exhibition and a Caribbean...

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Beneficiary Ambassadors Update

Our Beneficiary Ambassadors are an essential part of the Opportunity Nottingham Team. Their work informs project development and also contributes to wider Nottingham City work and multiple and complex needs work at a national level. During 2016 to date, the Beneficiary Ambassadors have engaged in a range of consultation and networking activity. Earlier in the year they presented The Pledge to all Framework Housing Association Services...

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Key Learning Event

Our Key Learning Event 'Opportunity Nottingham – Two Years On' took place at Nottingham Conference Centre on Friday 7th October.  During the event, we discussed key findings from the first two years of the project, and also heard from a number of Guest Speakers. Counsellor Alex Norris delivered the opening address for the event, whilst Dr Graham Bowpitt (Nottingham Trent University) discussed findings from our local evaluation, and Laura Furness, Head of Funding (Multiple and Complex...

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Notts. NHS Healthcare Trust

A key part of the Opportunity Nottingham project is working in partnership with organisations that are essential to the success of system change. Since January 2016, Maggie Foster the Opportunity Nottingham Mental Health Lead, has been forging excellent relationships with staff at Highbury Hospital. Having had contact with staff on a Mental Health Ward at Highbury Hospital in January 2016, Maggie was then invited to talk to the wider...

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Read our most recent newsletter: Spring 2017